Plasmas can generate ultra-high-temperature reactive environments that can be used for the synthesis and processing of a wide range of materials 1,2. However, the limited volume, instability and non-uniformity of plasmas have made it challenging to scalably manufacture bulk, high-temperature materials 3–8. Here we present a plasma set-up consisting of a pair of carbon-fibre-tip-enhanced electrodes that enable the generation of a uniform, ultra-high temperature and stable plasma (up to 8,000 K) at atmospheric pressure using a combination of vertically oriented long and short carbon fibres. The long carbon fibres initiate the plasma by micro-spark discharge at a low breakdown voltage, whereas the short carbon fibres coalesce the discharge into a volumetric and stable ultra-high-temperature plasma. As a proof of concept, we used this process to synthesize various extreme materials in seconds, including ultra-high-temperature ceramics (for example, hafnium carbonitride) and refractory metal alloys. Moreover, the carbon-fibre electrodes are highly flexible and can be shaped for various syntheses. This simple and practical plasma technology may help overcome the challenges in high-temperature synthesis and enable large-scale electrified plasma manufacturing powered by renewable electricity.
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